After almost 8 years of being kept in flyable storage at Lockheed's facility in Palmdale, California, she was disassembled and trucked to Edwards AFB where she was reassembled and prepped to return to active Air Force duty, along with 971 and 967. Unfortunately, this was just before an unconstitutional line-item veto cut the funding for the USAF's blackbird program for the second time. Through no fault of her own, 968's return to service was over before it started. Her last flight was on February 12, 1990, retiring with 2279 hours of flight time.
968 was transported on 5 tractor-trailers to the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond, Virginia by Worldwide Aircraft Recovery, Ltd. during the month of October 1999. According to Mike Boehme, Director of the museum, this was the longest distance any blackbird has been transported by truck. David Hahn, Operations Director for the Virginia Aviation Museum, did a fantastic job recording her voyage from Edwards to Richmond. Click here to read the daily updates he wrote on the experience. After being reassembled, she was unveiled in a public ceremony at the museum on Saturday, October 30, 1999. Click here for photos of the event.
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